While Danica Patrick is more closely associated with her performance at tracks like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the driver of the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has far more experience at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, the site of Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. However, all of her experience has been marginalized by recent changes at the 1.5-mile oval.
Of all the tracks where the NASCAR Cup Series competes, Patrick has the most starts at Texas, having driven in 21 major-league races – nine in the Cup Series, four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and eight in the IndyCar Series.
Patrick’s career-best NASCAR Cup Series result at Texas is 16th, a mark she earned at both events there in 2015. In her four Xfinity Series races at Texas, Patrick has three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place result in April 2012. In Patrick’s eight IndyCar Series starts at the track, she has five top-10s, including a third-place result in June 2007 and a second-place finish in June 2010.
While Patrick enters Sunday’s race with considerable experience at Texas Motor Speedway, it all goes for naught as the Cup Series returns to the track this weekend. In January, track officials announced an extensive capital improvement project that included a complete repave of the 1.5-mile track surface and pit lane, along with a reconfiguration of the banking in turns one and two from 24 to 20 degrees. The project also added additional racing surface in turns one and two with the width expanding from 60 to 80 feet in that section of the track. The effort marked the second full repave since Texas Motor Speedway made its NASCAR debut in 1997, and the first since the summer of 2001.
The resurfacing project was just completed last month, so NASCAR Cup Series teams will first run laps on the new layout when drivers head out for Friday morning’s practice session at Texas. Patrick and the No. 10 TaxAct Ford team will look to capitalize on the extended practice session NASCAR has given teams Friday to get acquainted with the new track configuration and learn as much as they can for Sunday’s race.
As this is the final race weekend before the filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns on April 18, TaxAct is offering its “Premium Finish” promotion this weekend at Texas. If Patrick or any member of the SHR team secures a top-10 finish in Sunday’s race at Texas, NASCAR fans can file their 2016 federal and state tax returns using the TaxAct Online Premium Bundle for only $10 – it’s currently priced at $85. This gives filers access to the federal and state forms needed to complete their TaxAct Online return no matter how complex their tax situation, all in, for $10, with offer and pricing subject to change.
If an SHR driver does not finish in the top-10, NASCAR fans can take advantage of a $10 discount off of their federal return when they use TaxAct Online Plus or Premium Editions. Filers can lock in their “Premium Finish” price online by visiting TaxAct.com/Ten and the applicable discounted pricing offer is available through April 15. With TaxAct’s Price Lock Guarantee, filers are guaranteed to pay the price offered for its online products at the time they register, no matter when they choose to file.
As NASCAR Cup Series teams head to Texas, Patrick and her No. 10 TaxAct Ford team look to conquer the new track surface and get a “Premium Finish” in Sunday’s race.
DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
Talk about racing at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I’ve always liked racing at Texas. I first competed there in the IndyCar Series in 2005 and they always put on a great show for the fans. Texas is a really nice facility. The track has been repaved since we were there in the fall, so I’m glad they’re giving us extra practice time Friday to get a handle on the new track surface.”
You have a lot of experience at Texas and you seem to really enjoy racing there. Why is that?
“I think, more than anything with Texas, it’s the fact it’s a really high-banked, fast track and those are the kinds of tracks I’ve liked the most. I feel that load in the corner and you’re able to carry so much speed through there because of that banking. I feel like it translates more to a feeling I was familiar with from Indy cars, so I like going to Texas.”